Any teens/early twenties have advice for taking care of a grandparent with Alzeimer's or dementia?


My grandfather first had Alzeimer's and my grandma took care of him in the background. I would get something for her, or sit with him while she was out. Now I am taking care of her, who has Dementia and I am definitely nearing if not at the end of my rope. She will yell at me, accuse me of things I didn't even do. I have been dealing with depression for the last 4 or 5 years as well as seizures for the last 7 both of which I think she has contributed to by her treatment. I have no help since my parents both work but I really feel as though I just can't do it anymore (In case anyone is wondering I am 25 but because of the seizures I can't drive, but I live next door so I can walk home when I need to) anyone else understand this or have suggestions/support?

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Thanks BootShopGirl. That's interesting what your mother did. I agree with you that it's definitely not funny when you're living through it. What happened with me was I had a strong bond with my granddaddy my entire life, he took me to/ from school in middle and high school and I'm not honestly sure when he started (like you said I definitely was young then, and still am) after I graduated I had thought about tcc, but after deciding I don't really think college is my place I spent a year or two with my granddaddy (the only thing I had to do was lunch since he was still capable) I stayed in one living area and him another and we took turns riding a stationary bike. Eventually his health got bad enough my grandma finally retired (at this point I was starting to at least just make sure nothing was wrong with him, just keeping an eye on him) and I will admit it my grandma was too selfish too retire so I knew it was me who needed to stay with him. It wasn't until she had been home however long that it started getting bad on her part.

I may repost this in a new one because I'm now realizing how much I left out of my origional post. To me (honestly until recently) I really felt like this was just a daily thing like waking up and going to work. I really never considered these details (despite the fact that it was obvious I was being affected I think I was (at 18) still too young to realize as I still had my mentality that I'm supposed to take care of my granddaddy (or help my grandma do it) while my mother was at work. I'm really seeing it now and truthfully it's almost like just realizing what I was (anD kind of still I guess) doing to myself being so faithful to my mother and granddaddy
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Dear young one,
All the above answers are great. For 5 years my Mom would hide her watch and wedding ring and we spent hours of our lives looking for them. She didn't believe she did anything with them. This was when we started thinking dementia. She yelled No Christmas at me until I find that ring! It's funny now but I know it's not when you are living through it. You are a little young to have to carry all this load. Please look into the suggestions above sweetie.
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Thanks cdnreader n freqflyer. I think I need to mention something I think I forgot in my first message, my granddaddy actually passed about 3 years ago and he was no trouble other than after his memory got really bad. I am talking with my older cousin now about setting up a meeting with my my parents so me, them n her can talk about the situation so I think I'm getting more emotional support. My cousin who also dealt with this with her own parents has been basically telling me that if grandma wants to be difficult just go home because my mental health is important too. And I have been staying away from her house a lot other than making sure she has her meals. I just know that this is only temporary and then I'll have to adjust my plan based on her (since she is still able to take care of most of her daily things on her own)
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Helping77, time to let your parents know that you can't take care of BOTH grandparents because their illnesses have progressed. And you are very exhausted.

As cdnreader mentioned above, don't be afraid to speak up. It is time that your parents brought in more help. Or time that your grandparents need to be in assisted living/memory care. I know that may not be an option your grandparents want nor your parents??? Discuss this softly, and give it time to sink in for your parents. This isn't something that can be corrected overnight.

As for your Grandmother yelling and accusing you, it could one of two things.... either a phase of dementia that she is going through.... or she has an Urinary Tract Infection which will mimic dementia big time.

Arm yourself with as much knowledge about Alzheimer/Dementia as you can. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the blue section. Over on your far left you will see ALZHEIMER'S CARE... click on that and read all the articles you can.

Hopefully this will help you for dealing with your grandparents until something else is done to help them. And give your parents ideas they didn't think know exist. Also read up on Medicaid [which is different from Medicare]. Medicaid is also in the blue section, click on Medicare.

Keep us up-to-date what happens. We all learn from each other here :)
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Dear Helping77,

There is a lot on your young shoulders. Its good of you to help and support your grandparents but its a lot to take on. Given your own health issues, it might be best to ask your parents about exploring other options. I know you are doing the best you can but it sounds like everyone is taking you for granted and assumes you are OK with caring for your grandparents. But it sounds like their needs are escalating and it might be better for them if they had home care, or considered assisted living or a nursing home.

Please don't be afraid to speak up and get help. If necessary contact a social worker and see what options are available. All this stress is not good for your own health and future. The fact that you are asking these types of questions indicate caregiver burnout.
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